March 28, 2013
Statistics on Mobile Usage for Business Websites
I was noodling around our Google Analytics the other day and ventured into the mobile use statistics area. These statistics show what kind of computer, smartphone or tablet people used to visit our clients’ websites.
Oh my gosh! I realized we have a built-in laboratory. There is a wealth of data that I thought I’d share. These bring to life the theories and statistics about how people use the Web. That’s important because how your website looks on the big screen may be a lot different than how it looks on those tiny cell phones.
Here’s some of the data from our own clients – I’ve added some notes, as mobile usage is increasing so fast that this article needs updating from its original March 2013 publication:
Beauty salons – four of every 10 visitors used smartphones or tablet computers such as iPads – as of November 2013 it is now five of every 10 visitors
Employment agency – one in three
Massage therapist/trainer, veterinarian – one in four – as of November 2013 it is now nearly one in three visitors
Technical training – one in five
Entertainment, trash hauling – one in six
Photographer, computer system sales, builder, catering facility, professional organization – one in seven
Manufacturers – one in every 10 to 15
Website developer (us!), commercial real estate – one of 12
Financial adviser, high-end divorce attorney – one of 20
Adviser for doctors and companies regarding Workers Compensation cases – one of 50 – as of November 2013 it is now three of every 10 visitors
Overall, you can conclude that consumers use their cells more than businesses do. So it is more important for business-to-consumer sites to have mobile design than business-to-business websites. That’s a given anyway – but it was exciting to find real, live data and draw our own conclusions.
Who uses mobile?
Mobile users are young and they are on the go. Take my own son and how he accesses the Net. He owns a business and has a perfectly good computer in his office. But he is more likely to reach into his pocket and pull out his cell to find the local restaurant, check messages or even browse for information on how to, say, install plumbing.
Many consumers use only smartphones or go-everywhere tablets such as iPads. They don’t even have a personal computer or laptop. Mobile has given them affordable, pay-as-you-go entry to the Internet.
- From our limited data, it appears that consumers with more disposable wealth are less likely to browse the Net via mobile. The financial adviser and divorce attorney in a high-income area had fewer mobile hits.
- We surmise that beauty salons get so many mobile hits because their clients are quickly checking phone numbers to make appointments.
- It is surprising that our entertainment venues attract fewer mobile users, but it could be that our particular entertainment websites – a winery, a jazz orchestra, a folk music festival – attract more grey hairs than trendy bobs.
So – younger, less income, on the go = mobile.
Older, affluent, in business = home or business computers.
What does this mean for your company?
If it is important for you to reach the mobile crowd, you will probably incur some expense. There are a variety of options; here are some of them:
- Have a second, smaller website without all the bells and whistles of the large site but just the essentials, for quicker downloads and more compact design.
- Use Responsive Design, one of the current catch-phrases in website development. It automatically resizes the website depending on what mobile device is reading it – but keeps the site looking good.
- Don’t do anything. Your website may be a mishmash on the smaller screens because elements are rearranged, but it is still functional. Our own site is not yet mobile (“shoemaker’s children” and so forth), but it looks pretty okay on a smartphone. Some of the elements may be a bit off.
To view an example of all three options:
We built www.lakecommunicators.com about three years ago. It is not mobile-optimized. Later we built a mobile site that provides limited but appropriately laid-out information. Try it here. Finally, go to their new blog which uses Responsive Design, and you will see the difference if you view it on various devices.
Our final answer?
You know your business. You know your market. You know your budget. So it’s up to you to decide whether you need to become more mobile – yet.
Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.